Chapter 2: Crash & Burn Part 2


Kate shone her flashlight in the backseat of the Ford Explorer. She looked in every corner of the back, checking for any signs of evidence that could help with the case. She moved the light along the floor, only to stop suddenly when the light reflected off something in the side of the car near the back. "Hey, Catherine, I think I've found something," she called out as she climbed in a little more, reaching her arm out to what the light reflected off.

"What is it?" Catherine asked, now standing at the door, shining her light at the spot Kate was reaching for.

"I'm not sure yet," Kate replied, grabbing a hold of what it was. She shone her light on it, and the object reflected some light off it again. "It's a bullet."

"What kind?" Catherine asked.

Kate looked at the bullet again, examining it closely. "It's a .45 Caliber," she said looking at Catherine. "Whoever shot Mr. Sawyer lost this bullet in fight with the killer."

Catherine glanced at Mr. Sawyer and then towards the spot where the bullet was. "Could explain why there's a bullet in the vehicle. Let's bag it up and continue to examine the scene before the coroner comes to take the body."

Kate nodded in reply and grabbed a small paper bag to put the bullet in before she continued to look around some more.

Five minutes passed and Kate decided to look around some more towards the front of the car. Shining the flashlight on the floor, she searched for anything else that would be evidence. She stopped short, her light still on the floor, shining on some white substance. "Hmm…" she leaned down and looked at it closely. "Hey, Catherine?"

"Yes?" Catherine answered, as she looked through the open door.

"What does this look like to you?"

Catherine leaned further in. "Looks like drugs."

"Hmm… I take it our Mr. Sawyer isn't as innocent we thought," Kate said, collecting the substance as evidence.

"Let's not assume anything just yet, Kate. Let's finish up here and head back to the lab," Catherine said before she walked away.

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"Hey Doc, do you have anything for us?" Nick asked, walking into the Morgue with Warrick right behind him.

"I'm still examining the body, but I do have this to tell you," Al pointed to her left wrist, revealing rope in her skin. "Her hands were bound and the fire caused some of the rope go into her skin."

"Tied up, burnt, and dumped in an alley…," Nick repeated to himself. "Did you find anything else?"

"No. We'll need to do a dental identification if the fire didn't cause too much damage," Al said.

Warrick nodded. "Alright, let's do that. Page us when you're finished."

"Will do," Al responded.

Nick and Warrick left the morgue, glancing at each other.

"Let's go back to the alley and see if we find anything else," Warrick said.

"Yeah…"

"Hey you two," Catherine said as she and Kate headed their way.

"Hey," Nick spoke up first looking at them. He then gazed over at Kate, "how's your first night?"

"Fine," Kate answered.

"Doc's got your dead guy in there, so you might not want to keep him waiting," Warrick told the girls as he started to step past them.

"Yeah, alright," Catherine nodded.

Kate and Catherine walked to the door as Warrick and Nick left.

Al looked up from standing in front of Brad Sawyer. "I had examined the body and pulled out the bullet from the back of the head. It's a .45 Caliber," he said, getting right to business.

"Just like the extra bullet we found. Did you find anything else?" Catherine asked.

"David told me you found traces of cocaine in the car, and I checked to see if he had any in his system and it's negative."

"Maybe it was meant to look like he uses drugs," Kate said.

"It's possible," Al agreed.

"Did he have any other injuries?" Catherine wondered.

"Only the gun shot wound. That was only reason for cause of death."

"So we just need to find the weapon and find out who it belongs to," Kate said. "Thanks Doc."

"Let's get back to work," Catherine said.

Kate nodded in agreement before she and Catherine headed for the door.

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Catherine and Kate climbed out of the car they parked in front of Brad Sawyer's home the next day. Kate pulled off her sunglasses and stuck them on top of her head. Together, they headed for the front door and Kate knocked on it.

A few moments later, a young woman answered. She looked at the both of them questioningly. "Yes?"

"Mrs. Sawyer?" Catherine asked.

"Yes. Can I help you?"

"We are with the Las Vegas Crime Lab. We're here about Mr. Sawyer," Catherine said.

"Brad? Do you know where he is? He never came home last night," Mrs. Sawyer asked, her voice showing concern for her husband.

"Mrs. Sawyer, I'm sorry to tell you this, but we found him in his car. He was shot last night, and I'm afraid he didn't make it," Catherine told her.

In that instant, Mrs. Sawyer's expression changed to shock and sadness.

"Oh my God…" she said putting her hand over her mouth. Tears quickly filled her eyes.

"I know this is hard for you, but we have to ask; did your husband have anyone who would want to hurt him?" Kate asked.

Mrs. Sawyer looked at Kate, her expression now unsure. "I honestly don't know. A lot of people got along with him, though. If he did have anyone that would want to hurt him, he would keep it to himself. He never liked to make me worry."

Kate nodded in understanding. "Did he have a drug problem?"

Mrs. Sawyer looked at Kate, surprised by the question, but then she sighed. "He used to. He got help a few years ago. He hasn't gone near drugs since then," she told them. "Why do you want to know?"

"We found some Cocaine on the floor of his car," Catherine replied.

"Cocaine," Mrs. Sawyer repeated. "That's crazy! Brad never did Cocaine. Not once. Whoever killed him put that junk in his car," she said, evidently not happy with what she was hearing.

"Did he get involved with anyone who did drugs?" Kate asked.

"Yeah, he did. Mitch Clancy. He tried busting Brad a few years back when Brad didn't help him."

"Do you know where he lives?" Catherine asked.

"No. Hopefully he's locked up in jail. Look, are we done?" Mrs. Sawyer asked, clearly ready to end the conversation.

"Yes. Thank you," Kate said.

Mrs. Sawyer closed the door as Catherine and Kate went back to the car.

"There are two things we need to find out," Kate started getting inside. "If Mr. Sawyer kept his drug problem from his wife, or if his killer made it look like he wasn't clean."

"Let's find Mr. Clancy and get some answers," Catherine said starting the car.

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"Trash and more trash," Nick said going through the bags and other items lying on the ground.

Warrick looked around the area away from where the body was found. "I don't get why someone would dump a body in an alley, a place someone would find her. You'd think they would pick a less populated spot."

"Maybe that was the point," Nick said standing up to face him. "They wanted to get caught."

"If that was the case, they would've left more clues behind. All we've got so far is a piece of fabric that doesn't have any DNA on it and no other evidence."

"Just my guess," Nick said. "I could be wrong."

Warrick glanced back at the spot the victim was. "Whoever brought her here had to use car."

Nick looked at the ground. "Three tire marks… there's no way to find the one she was in."

Warrick sighed and stared at the marks. "Maybe-"

"I saw it," a man said walking up to them.

"You saw the car?" Nick asked.

The man nodded. "Yes. It was a white GMC. I did see a little of the license plate. GB48… that's all I could make out."

"That's good. Were you able to see the driver?" Warrick questioned.

"A tall white male," the man answered. "He had on a dark blue hooded sweatshirt and glasses. That's all I could make out."

"Did you watch him put a body here?" Nick asked.

"It was a body?" the man asked, seeming surprised by that. "I didn't see what it was. After I saw him take something out of the car, I headed to my girlfriend's place."

"So you didn't see which direction he headed?" Nick wondered.

"No, sorry… like I said, I only saw him pull him something out of the back."

"Ok, thanks," Nick said.

The man nodded before leaving.

"Let's check out the plate and hope we can find the car and owner," Warrick said.

"I guess we should head back to the lab, then."

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"Why am I not surprised," Kate said aloud to herself when she saw the apartment building where Mitch Clancy lived.

The two stepped toward the apartment building that looked worn-out; the chipped, old, grey paint peeling off, the grass beginning to turn yellow from not getting enough water, and there was trash in different places on the property.

The two made their way inside and up to the second floor to Mitch's apartment. Once they reached it, Catherine knocked on the door.

The door creaked opened and Mitch looked at them with a less than pleased expression on his face.

Kate stared at him for a few moments.

He had on ripped blue jeans, a stained up shirt and his hair looked like it hadn't been washed.

Kate's eyes met his. "Mr. Clancy, we're with—"

"I don't care who you are or who you are with. What do you want?" Mitch said, rudely interrupting Kate.

"We wanted to ask you a few questions about a Mr. Sawyer," Catherine spoke up.

"Brad huh? What does the jackass want now?"

"Mr. Sawyer died last night," Kate told him. "So we're here to ask you a few questions about your whereabouts."

Mitch stared Kate right in the eye, his jaw tight and his lips pressed together. "Let me guess, you think I have something to do with his death. Well, let me tell you this girl… I ain't seen that little piece of trash. And you tell his bitch of a wife to keep her mouth shut and not to tell people names of other people, ya hear? I know she told you my name and I am already pissed about that."

"There's no reason for name calling, Mr. Clancy," Catherine said. "Nobody is putting blame on you. We just want to get to the bottom of things, that's all."

"I have one word for you then…" Mitch looked over at her. "Bug off. I don't have to tell you swat."

He then looked back at Kate seeing her eyes were fixed upon something in his apartment.

"Hey, don't look in here," he said, seeming more than annoyed now.

Kate looked back at him quickly. "Sorry… your collection of lighters on the wall looks cool."

"We finished?" Mitch asked.

"Before we go, we do need to know where you were last night," Catherine replied.

Mitch sighed, seeming irritated. "At a bar," he told them.

"Which bar was it?" Kate asked.

"Double Down Saloon," he answered as he started to close the door. "Now go away."

The two walked away once the door was shut and headed back outside.

Catherine looked at Kate. "Were you really looking at the lighters?"

"Nope," Kate replied getting into the car. "I saw something better than that."

"What was it?"

"The gun on the table… I think we might've gotten a hint in the right direction."

"Let's not jump to conclusions."

"I know, I just think we might be closer in closing the case."

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"I just knew it," Kate said to Catherine as she sat down at the table back at the lab.

"You were right. We just had to prove he did it," Catherine said. "You did well."

Kate smiled. "Thank you, Catherine."

"Hey, Kate…" Greg stepped into the room. "There's someone here for you."

Kate sat there confused for a few moments before speaking. "Uh, who is it?"

"Some guy," Greg shrugged. "He wouldn't tell me his name."

"Thanks," Kate stood up and walked out of the room and down the hall.

"Katie," the man said once he saw her.

"What're you doing here?" Kate asked, surprised to see her ex-boyfriend. "Better yet, how did you know I was here?"

"A little birdie told me," he said with a smirk.

"I'm serious Ricky."

"My friend told me before he got arrested by the police," he told her. "Thanks to you, by the way."

Kate stood there surprised by what he said. "Mitch?"

He stepped closer to her. "You're a bitch, you know that? You just can't keep your nose out of other people's lives. You snitch on me and now you go after my friend."

"Hey, I wouldn't have snitched if you had just listened to me in the first place and stopped selling and taking drugs."

Ricky glared at her. "If what I did was such a problem, why didn't you just leave? No, you had to stay and get me arrested."

"I didn't leave because I wanted to give you a chance. When you were messing up and having people come to our place, I knew I had to stop it and do something. Unfortunately, it involved jail."

"Well, you know what? You're going to regret everything you did."

"Is that a threat?"

"No, that's a promise."

Without another word, Ricky walked away from her, and she headed back to the room.

"Is everything alright?" Catherine asked once Kate got back.

"Uh, yeah," Kate nodded.

"Who was that?" Greg asked who was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee in his hand.

"Nobody important," Kate said, sitting back down in her seat as she tried to figure out how Ricky got out of jail.

Greg and Catherine didn't ask her any more questions, instead they began talking about the case she and Kate finished.

"Hey," Nick said as he and Warrick walked into the room. "Are you two done with the case?"

"Yep," Catherine nodded. "This one seemed a little too easy."

"That's how ours felt," Warrick said. "I guess that's good, though… the quicker we finish, the sooner we can relax."

"That's true," Nick agreed.

"Tell us about the case," Greg said looking at the two men. "I want to hear more about it."

"Well, it started out like this…" Nick began to tell them about it.